We talked with Zach Muha, Director of Digital Marketing at Youfit Health Clubs, about his experience with Gatsby and why he decided to use it for a website rebuild. Zach is in charge of managing SEO, UX, SEM, display ads, social channels, email marketing, CRM and the Youfit app- not a small job!
Youfit Health Clubs are redefining how people approach health by creating an inclusive, affordable gym environment that welcomes everyone. Founded in 2008 by Rick Berks, Youfit has more than 100 locations across 14 states.
As with many websites, Youfit depends on the site to attract new customers. But a slow site led to a 60% bounce rate on the initial page load, which meant Youfit was losing potential customers. When the website was slow or site visitors couldn’t find the gym closest to their location, they lost interest.
So Zach and the Youfit team decided they needed a website rebuild to optimize the site, decrease page load times, improve mobile accessibility, and increase lead conversion rates. They decided to use Gatsby for the rebuild due to its proven track record of building blazing fast sites which ended up increasing their lead conversion rate by 60%!
Youfit needed to find a way to decrease page load times (some page loads took up to 22 seconds!), decrease the bounce rate, and optimize the site for mobile. The later was most important, given the sheer number of users tapping in strictly via their phones. In addition, Google’s algorithm changes, which gives lower page rankings to poor performing sites, meant Youfit was showing up lower and lower on the page for organic search results. A significant portion of their site traffic comes from new visitors and these issues were causing them to bail before they even had a chance to see who Youfit really was AND miss the opportunity to fill out a form for a free trial.
Youfit also wanted to optimize their location pages, which are customized based on the user’s geographic location. When a user visits the Youfit website, they have the option to name their specific location by zip code to find the Youfit gym that’s closest to them. Once the input is received, a customized page loads to show the specific Youfit location, hours, address, and amenity details that location offers. After the site rebuild, these location pages were built automatically and quickly, decreasing load times and improving the end user experience. These are some of the most critical pages for Youfit when it comes to search engine optimization because many people search for gyms close to where they live or work. Having the Youfit location pages show up in organic search results helps them reach more potential customers and improvement on these pages was critical to generating more leads.
As with many websites, Youfit depends on the site to attract new customers. But a slow site was dragging them down. The more time it takes for pages to load, the higher the bounce rate, which meant Youfit was losing potential sales. This was when Zach knew he needed to turn things around.
Zach understands the digital landscape is always evolving, forcing teams and companies to learn and adjust or get left behind. When considering a website rebuild, Zach needed a solution that would help them achieve their main business objective - to generate more leads. They needed a fresh site, optimized for mobile with a stellar user experience and blazing fast page loads that captured leads.
Zach chose Gatsby based on a recommendation from 64labs, a mobile web development agency. They recommended Gatsby for the website rebuild because Gatsby is already optimized for performance. They knew a Gatsby website would provide incredibly fast pages load times and mobile optimization, resulting in a better user experience and increased lead generation.
After the website rebuild, the Youfit site was blazing fast. Navigating the site feels seamless as Gatsby pre-fetches links depending on where the user is on the page, so that the next page is ready to go even before the user clicks on the link. And due to better SEO, Youfit location pages now show up in organic search results which was needed to reach more potential customers, and improvement on these pages was critical to turning website visitors into leads.
Youfit measured each page’s speed post-launch and with the initial page load, the load time was at least cut in half! Since the relaunch of the website, they’ve also experienced:
- 22% increase in organic traffic
- 50%+ increase in accessibility score, causing their Google search rank to climb
- An immediate 10% decrease in bounce rate, with exponential improvements projected in the near future
- 60% increase in lead conversion rates as more people signed up for a free trial
Prior to the website rebuild, Youfit viewed their website as an “add-on” because the team did not see it as critical to the success of the company. But now that they are experiencing first-hand the benefits of Gatsby, their website has become a primary channel for lead generation.
Zach and the Youfit team were happy with the results, amazed by the fast page load times, and would use Gatsby again for future projects.
We are very happy with the results so far, especially the 60% increase in leads. The website went from a burden to a strategic tool we use to capture leads and generate ROI.— Zach Muha
By using Gatsby, Youfit significantly increased their organic traffic, lead capture and ROI. Youfit also laid the foundation for long-term success by improving their Google ranking and making their site mobile friendly. This enabled Youfit to focus on what it does best: making proactive wellness more accessible to all.